Blair sides with Israel on Gaza inspections


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has the right to inspect what goes into Gaza, Middle East mediator Tony Blair told an Israeli television station.

Blair, the Quartet representative to the Middle East, met Tuesday in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. They reportedly discussed fallout from last week’s interception by Israel of a Gaza-bound flotilla that resulted in the deaths of nine passengers.

"There’s no question that there are rockets fired from Gaza and that there are people in Gaza who want to kill innocent Israelis," Blair told Israel’s Channel 10 Tuesday night. "When it comes to security, I’m 100 percent on Israel’s side. Israel has the right to inspect what goes into Gaza."

Blair added that he believes that Israel should lift its blockade on Gaza. He also called for a "full and impartial" investigation into the flotilla incident with "some sort of international element."

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